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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

The number of items in the ensuing word lists exceeds the minimum
requirements of the beginner in search of 3 battery adequate for self-
expression They contain assortments of common nouns to meet
individual requirements, such as those of the traveller or of the
motorist, together with many useful English words which share
recognizable roots with their foreign equivalents The items in the
English column of the Romance and Teutonic word lists do not tally
throughout One reason for discrepancies is the advisability of learning
Teutonic words together with English ^ords of Teutonic origin and
Romance words together with English words of Latin origin
The verb lists do not follow this plan consistently, The reason for
this is that the meaning of an English verb of Latin origin is usually
more sharply defined than that of its Teutonic twin For many common
English verbs less usual but more explicit (see p 39) synonyms appear
in the column at the extreme left. English verb forms printed in
italics correspond to Romance or Teutonic verbs of the intransitive
or reflexive type In the Teutonic word list German verbs printed in
italics take the dative case For a reason explained on p 31, the verb
lists contain few items which signify acquiring or conferring a quality
listed as an adjective For instance, we do not need a transitive or in-
transitive equivalent for widen To widen means to make wide (trans)
or to become wide (intrans.). We can use French or Spanish, German
or Swedish equivalents of make and become with an adjective in the
same way
The reader who turns to these lists for case material illustrating
family likeness or laws of sound shift should remember that the words
listed are nearly always the ones in common use By choosing highbrow,
pedantic, and somewhat archaic synonyms or near synonyms, it would
be easy to construct lists giving a much more impressive picture of
genetic relationship